Teachers netting invertebrates “The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.”

—Mark Van Doren

At the Missouri Botanical Garden, we regard teachers as close colleagues. The role they play in our world is simply heroic, and we thank them for their daily, unwavering commitment to creating curious, lifelong learners. To support and strengthen teachers, we offer a diversity of courses, workshops and other experiences in the summer and throughout the school year.

Some schools and districts count Garden professional development toward district-required professional development units. College credit is available for select summer workshops.

For more information, please e-mail teachertraining@mobot.org.


Custom Professional Development Outreach

Administrators—Are you looking for professional development opportunities for your staff?

The Missouri Botanical Garden's School Programs team offers topnotch STEM and inquiry training for K–12 that can be incorporated into an established professional development day or offered as an evening or weekend program at your school. Programs typically last 45–60 minutes and serve up to 30 teachers. Additional programs may be scheduled within the same day to serve larger groups.

Outreach costs for professional development programs are:

  • $150 for the first hour and $50 for each additional hour (to take place the same day).
  • $1/mile over 20 miles.

Professional development programs may be uniquely designed for your school upon request. (Additional planning costs may be incurred. These will be discussed with you prior to scheduling.)

Please e-mail teachertraining@mobot.org to discuss programming options.


At Litzsinger Road Ecology Center

Teacher examining a dead tree

Take a summer workshop at the Garden's Litzsinger Road Ecology Center to improve your skills as an outdoor place-based educator.

2024 workshops include Effective Outdoor Learning, Nature-based Learning, Sustainable Schoolyards to name a few. Learn more

Litzsinger Road Ecology Center helps teachers engage their students in place-based education: using local ecology as a framework for studying a variety of subjects while interacting with the community.

Located in the heart of the St. Louis metropolitan area, this unique 39-acre study center encompasses a rich variety of habitats including bottomland forest, restored prairie, and an urban creek.



Sustainability Workshops


Energy Efficiency Educator Workshops

Various Dates

Educators holding solar ovensJoin EarthWays Center at the 2024 Energy Efficiency Educator Workshops this summer! We are offering in-person and virtual workshops across Missouri. This free workshop is a great professional learning opportunity to discover new ways to teach energy. Educators will explore the science behind energy and sustainability through hands-on, interactive activities and classroom lessons.

Workshop topics will include:

  • Background information about energy topics including forms and sources
  • Discussion of energy efficiency and conservation
  • Connections between energy, electricity, and natural gas
  • Renewable energy sources and solutions

Participants will receive:

  • A stipend*
  • Digital access to all lessons and activities
  • Energy science toolkit.

Educators from formal or informal setting with an interest in learning more about teaching energy topics including efficiency, renewable energy sources and sustainability should attend. Activities covered throughout the two-day session are aligned to support state standards and designed to be scaled to a variety of grade levels. Sessions are available in June, July and August!

*You must live or work in Spire or Liberty Utilities territory to qualify for a stipend and toolkit. Check your local utility here.

Learn more and register


Thinking Beyond the 3Rs Workshop

June 18, 2024
9 a.m.–4 p.m.

Students recyclingIf you’ve ever wanted to start your students thinking about trash and recycling, but didn’t know where to begin, we have something for you. This free workshop will provide you with the resources, tools, and knowledge you need to bring solid-waste related topics like recycling, composting, and household hazardous waste, into your classroom and empower students to make change in their community. The “Thinking Beyond the 3Rs” workshop was developed to assist educators in curriculum support, implementing special projects, and creating behavioral changes that promote wise resource use in schools throughout the greater St. Louis region. We encourage educators from all schools, subjects, and grade-levels to attend.

In this workshop, you’ll:

  • Get a full understanding of what happens when we throw things “away.”
  • Build confidence in your own content knowledge.
  • Learn best practices to encourage environmental stewardship in students.
  • Develop students’ problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
  • Help students plan, implement, and evaluate projects with real-world impacts.
  • Access cross-curricular, inquiry-based materials and lesson plans.



Sustainability Institute for Educators

June 25–27, 2024
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

SIE logoThe Sustainability Institute for Educators is an event tailored for educators of all backgrounds. This year's focus is on the significance of biodiversity in education, daily life and our communities.

Biodiversity encompasses the variety within and between species, as well as diverse ecosystems. Understanding and appreciating biodiversity is crucial for supporting all life on Earth, including human communities. Lessons on biodiversity can foster a deep nature connection and appreciation for the myriad of plants, animals and fungi in our environment.

Through interactive sessions and local biodiversity expert presentations, educators will learn just how important biodiversity is and how to bring connections to biodiversity topics to their learning spaces.

Teachers exchanging ideasSessions will demonstrate how a range of disciplines can work together to understand and address biodiversity issues, opportunities and needs through education and youth engagement while highlighting local examples of biodiversity work. Discover how solutions-orientated actions, projects and lessons can help build resilience and protect the future of biodiversity on this planet.

Learning locations will include Missouri Botanical Garden, Saint Louis Zoo, and Webster University. The $125 registration fee includes participation in the three-day Institute and lunch. Graduate credit is available through Webster University for an additional cost. Scholarships are available.

Learn more and register


Clean Water Educator Workshop

July 25, 2024
10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Students with EnviroScapeGet started in building your knowledge and understanding of stormwater issues in the St. Louis area! This free workshop is designed to help facilitate your desire to learn more about stormwater management and water quality while discovering new ways to bring this topic back to the classroom.

During the workshop we will:

  • Discuss issues related to stormwater management and water quality such as non-point vs point source pollution, pollution impact, and best management practices for our community.
  • Review curriculum ideas that tie to state standards while still providing meaningful, engaging, and hands-on learning opportunities you can do with your students!
  • Train YOU on how to use the popular EnviroScape® watershed model; models are available for loan FREE from the MSD Clean Water Education program. Work with staff to learn how to present and use this model in your classroom.

Eligible Educators will receive a stipend for attending this workshop and participating in the program. Educators must teach at a school located in the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District's service area to be eligible for the stipend.

Learn more and register

Online Master's Degree

Advanced Inquiry Program
Ignite ecological and social change while earning your master’s degree! This program combines web-based courses through Miami University with experiential learning, internships, and field study in person at the Garden. Learn more



School Programs Catalog

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